Today, PolitiFact marks its fourth anniversary. • Since PolitiFact launched on Aug. 22, 2007, the Times' fact-checking website has published more than 4,000 Truth-O-Meter items and expanded into nine states. Increasingly, Truth-O-Meter rulings are cited by the news media, commentators and even politicians. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said PolitiFact "makes us a little more cautious about what we repeat." • Here's a look at PolitiFact by the numbers:
Total Truth-O-Meter items (includes national and state sites) 4,032
19% 17% 20% 14% 21% 9%
Florida: 476, Georgia: 224, New Jersey: 60, Ohio: 238, Oregon: 105, Rhode Island: 133, Texas: 443 Virginia: 142, Wisconsin: 261
(National statistics are as of Aug. 15; state statistics are from Aug. 17)
Odds and ends from the past year
The Truth-O-Meter on the Daily Show: Jon Stewart, right, earned a False for a claim he made during a Fox News interview and then, after apologizing for his mistake, read a list of False and Pants on Fire ratings earned by people on Fox.
Confessions and apologies: A sizable number of politicians and pundits acknowledged they were wrong after receiving False ratings, including Bill O'Reilly, right, and Keith Olbermann.
PolitiFact cartoon: Editorial cartoonist Chip Bok featured PolitiFact in his July 4th cartoon, see above. It showed a donkey and an elephant standing in front of the Declaration of Independence, with the donkey saying, "PolitiFact rates it True."
Michele Bachmann's PolitiFact record: On Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer asked Rep. Michele Bachmann, left, why two-thirds of her PolitiFact ratings were False or Pants on Fire. After some back and forth between them, Schieffer said, "I have to say, congresswoman, I asked you a question and you — to my knowledge, I don't believe you answered it."
Truth-O-Meter items with the highest traffic
1. PolitiFact National: Jon Stewart says those who watch Fox News are the "most consistently misinformed." Ruling: False
2. PolitiFact Wisconsin: Rachel Maddow says Wisconsin is on track to have a budget surplus this year. Ruling: False
3. PolitiFact Wisconsin: Michael Moore says 400 Americans have more wealth than half of all Americans. Ruling: True
4. PolitiFact National: Tea party photo shows huge crowd — at different event. Ruling: Pants on Fire
5. PolitiFact National: Glenn Beck says less than 10 percent of Obama Cabinet has worked in private sector. Ruling: False